|MICRO CENTER: COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS|
The popularity of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has gained momentum in the past year due the introduction of new VoIP compatible devices and services. What is VoIP and what are its advantages for the typical home user? VoIP is a technology standard that allows you to make phone calls utilizing an Internet connection. This works by digitizing a phone signal and transferring the data over the Internet with a broadband connection. By using the Internet, you can make long distance phone calls – with some limitations. Here are some points to keep in mind before throwing your analog phone out the window:
- Internet connection
How to get started:
Next, you'll need some type of input/output device for listening and talking. You can use an external microphone and speaker system or choose an all-in-one headset such as the Altec Lansing AHS202i Headset. There are also other options for receiving VoIP calls such as Hawking Tech's Net-Talk USB Internet Phone. This phone gives you mobile VoIP access with built-in VoIP messaging software functions.
Another peripheral that can aid in VoIP connection is IOGear's USB Calling Kit. This unit acts as a hub providing six USB 2.0 ports, two audio outputs and two MIC inputs. It also has a keypad with volume control and dial input.The final piece for getting started with VoIP is the software. If you are a Mac user, you already have VoIP software built-in with iChat. This program offers multiple video conferencing as well as instant messaging features. For PC users, there are a number of third party options to choose from. One of the most popular is Skype which is PC, Mac and Linux compatible and has a number of compatible peripherals that fit with this program.
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